The speakers for the 2023 Plant Cunning Conference are some of the most inspiring thought leaders, authors, herbalist, astrologers and gardeners of our time. We will have plant walks, fungi walks, lectures, hands on workshops and a Keynote from renouned herbalist, author and teacher Matthew Wood.
Matthew Wood, is a western herbalist, educator and author with over forty years of experience. His influential herbals are considered modern day classics and has written 10 books including The Book of Herbal Medicine, The Earthwise Herbal Repertory, and Holistic Medicine and the Extracellular Matrix.
Matthew Wood began studying herbalism at age 13 - 1967, the summer of love, when a National Guardsman on the run to Canada handed him a copy of The Teachings of Don Juan. He studied botany at the University of Minnesota; got his Masters of Science degree from the Scottish School of Herbal Medicine (accredited by the University of Wales). He began practice in 1981 at Present Moment Herbs in south Minneapolis. He teaches online through the Matthew Wood Institute of Herbalism.
Kate Gilday is a clinical herbalist, flower essence practitioner, Ayurvedic lifestyle consultant, and teacher for over thirty years. A creative medicine maker, Kate is the founder of Woodland Essence, a forest botanicals and flower essence company and workshop center. For many years, Kate was a member of Collaborative Healing, a group of local practitioners who address health care through a unique integrative network, educating the community and combining conventional medicine with expert complementary care. She is well-loved for the clarity and clinical relevance gleaned from decades of experience in her teachings. Kate brings her love of the wild places, song and healing to the workshops she presents around the Northeast. We will be learning from Kate how to make tree and flower essences at the conference. In this workshop we will use our senses to recognize how the elements of fire, water, air and earth are embodied by plants and flowers. This helps us understand what our intuition, mind and heart recognize as the intelligence, energetics and gifts of a flower/ plant/tree. Once we feel connected, we will prepare a flower essence in the traditional way, as well as share how to choose an essence for oneself or another.
Peasant Herbalist, Writer, Plant Healing Artist, and author of the forthcoming book Della Medicina: Plants of Italian American Folk Medicine (Inner Traditions, 2023). Lisa leads the Root Circle, a center for folk medicine, ancestral remembrance and plant based culture offering classes and resources. Lisa's class is on Italian Folk Medicine, also known as “medicina popolare” or "medicine of the people". Italian folk medicine is also called “medicina popolare” or the “medicine of the people” and it emerged from the rural peasants of Southern Italy with influences from around the Mediterranean world. In this class we’ll discuss the basics of Italian folk medicine, its connection to the ancient Greek and Roman physicians, animism, folk Catholicism and Traditional Western Herbalism. We’ll learn about some of the most important traditional plants and the methods of treatment that they’re used in. Topics will include: Italian herbalism, preparations, how Italian witchcraft, folk Catholoicsm, and folk medicine have syncretized, and Benedicaria (the American form of Italian folk medicine).
Don Babineau has spent his life in the forests and on the shoreline of the Northeast. From backpacking and winter camping in the white mountains and attunement with this land. He and his wife, Kate Gilday, are certified New York State Guides.
As a woodworker of over 40 years, Don has also enjoyed using and teaching earth skills and crafts of the NE woodlands. His respect and reverence for the trees and wild places continues to grow.
Don will lead a forest walk called Story Telling in the Woods on Saturday afternoon to share some of his wisdom of the woodland plants and trees and some magical lore that is associated with them.
ZamboniFunk is a professional astrologer, herbalist, musician, charmer, & weirdo. Zamboni utilizes his expertise in multiple modalities to help folks understand and shape the course of their lives. His class will focus on how the astrological birth chart can influence a persons health. There's a lot to see in an astrology chart, and herbalists are often interested in any insights that can be gleaned about health, vitality, and risks of illness and disease. Not only can astrology help with timing potential moments of crisis, but cunning folk can find ways to lean into strengths indicated by the planets as well. In this interactive workshop, Zamboni will dig into how to interpret planetary signifiers in relationship to health and wellness.
Aemen Bell is a teacher of Natural Magic and Herbal Healing. Through working with thousands of people, as a certified herbalist, herb shop proprietor, and practitioner of Astrological Therapy, Aemen has seen that there is always a way to heal, always another option, and that natural healing brings not only relief but freedom as well. Aemen will teach, "Why Herbs are Your Most Trusted Ally," at the conference. There are so many ways to work with herbs. Many people know them as preventative medicine, while others call on them to swoop in and help in emergency situations. While these are both important and valid ways to work with herbs, this class teaches you how to go beyond these ways and develop a deep, trusting, life changing relationship with medicinal plants. Aemen credits having a deep relationship with herbs for much of her simple joys, including her and her family’s health, her unending energy and curiousity, and even her beautiful mountain home.
JoAnna is the host of the Coffee & Divination Podcast, and the co-founder of the North Wyldewood Tradition of Witchcraft. She is a full-time professional violinist, and also practices a form of oracular divination inspired by the trance traditions of ancient Greece. On her farm in northern VT, she combines her deep love of ecology and Pagan animism through permaculture, and shares her homestead with her husband and their many farm animals. Come learn from JoAnna all about Divination at the conference. Divination is the art of obtaining knowledge through hidden means, and has been a part of civilizations around the world - likely for tens of thousands of years. Divination can help us understand situations, answer questions, and give us insight on the threads that weave our lives together. While our world undergoes this time of upheaval, studying and practicing the arts of divination can help us navigate and plan for the roads ahead.
Ryan Clover-Owens is the founder and digital gardener at Maple Creative, a tech agency which offers support to creators who are growing their audience and their business through project roadmapping, website design, email marketing, copy writing and editing, launch support, and other consultations. He's also a dad, songwriter, and budding orchardist.
Ryan's class at the conference, called "Build a Generous Business" will teach us creatives (herbalists, astrologers, farmers, teachers, writers, and all kinds of small business owners) how to tackle some common business problems with authenticity and integrity.
How do we provide genuine value?
How do we market without being gimmicky?
How to scale without loosing quality and hospitality?
Here's a hint on how: boundaries- it's all about healthy boundaries.
Come learn from Ryan and think about your your small business or even a hobby can grow with generosity.
Britt is a sustainable food systems educator experienced in permaculture design, regenerative agriculture, food service operations and educational program development working currently at Farm to Institution. Permaculture is a broad concept that encompasses regenerative living and design systems. If you're curious to find out more join Britts beginner friendly workshop. Participants will engage in small group activities to uncover the history, ethics, and common design principles to support you own permaculture journey.
Darrell is a permaculturist, farmer and educator with over thirty years of experience in Western PA. His homestead project is called Three Sisters Farm.
He is author of Bioshelter Market Garden: A Permaculture Farm, and coauthor of The Food Forest Handbook.
Isaac is a permaculturist with over a decade of experience gardening and cultivating a native plant nursery. He's the primary gardener and grounds keeper of Cohosh Creek Herb Farm where he's planted hundreds of fruit & nut trees, shrubs, blueberries, asparagus, perennial herbs, greens, flowers, medicinal herbs and fungi and some veggies. He's an astrologer, esotericist, and co-host of the Plant Cunning Podcast. He's also an excellent song writer and musician, leading in the Hills and the Rivers. Isaac will lead a garden tour for one the plant walk sessions to discuss some of the garden design elements as well as highlighting some of the incredible plants he nurtures at the farm.
Olga has been foraging mushrooms and plants for food and medicine for many years, and started Rochester, NY based Smugtown Mushrooms in 2011 offering up fresh fungi, extracts, educational events, & fungi tours. Smugtown offers mushroom grow kits, high quality mushroom extracts, dried mushrooms, books, and more. Olga offers engaging classes like cooking classes with mushrooms and fungi walks to bring the love of mushrooms to the people. She's the instigator of the New Moon Mycology Summit . Olga also leads small groups of earth lovers to her homeland of Greece in the Fall seasons to forage mushrooms, herbs and learn the sacred ecology of the Eastern Mediterraean.
Michael Wilson is an organic farmer, a forager and wild medicine maker and has worked with various entheogens since 2010 with a focus on Amanitas. He is the owner of All Things Amanita and Harmony Acres Farm and is based out of western Pennsylvania. His goal is to make the highest quality offerings of plant and fungal medicines for the people. Amanita muscaria is the most occult mushroom, it is featured in popular media, myths, children's books, holiday greeting cards, and the mushroom emoji on your phone... but what is true about this enigmatic mushroom? Join Michael in a presentation about what we know about this sacred and mysterious mushroom. Michael will cover some of the history and indigenous shamanic use, as well as the mythology and lore behind the Amanita muscaria mushroom. He will also discuss the identification, chemistry, preparation and safety that must be known before working with this mushroom; also covered will be the dosage and effects of amanita muscaria. Finally he will close with sharing where the market around amanita muscaria is going now and safe places to procure knowledge and products.
Coming from places with complicated histories and names, such as Poughkeepsie and Mahicannittuk, it's no surprise that Marvin is someone uncomfortable with easy answers. Attempting to inhabit that place of uncertainty, while building and deepening relationships in the human and wider natural world, Marvin has studied, practiced, and taught permaculture design and many of its related crafts, and herbalism in the western/Eclectic tradition, for over 15 years. Believing in the power of both deep study and the democratization of knowledge and healthcare, they are a passionate advocate of accessibility; being neurodivergent, they often have a talent for drawing connections that others don't immediately see. In their workshop, Marvin will touch on several principles of permaculture design and ethics, help you connect that with the practice of herbal formulation, and remind you that 'permaculture plants' are medicine, and medicinal plants have many other purposes.
AC Stauble is a farmer, herbalist, community builder and part time online support person for other herbalists and environmental justice advocates through her work with Maple Creative. She has a small herbal product line called Traveling Herb Farmer. Her session at the conference will be on Sunday afternoon before the closing ceremony and offers participants a chance to integrate and de-brief some of our experiences and solidify some of what we've learned over the weekend. She's creating space for silent reflection to journal or draw or read over notes. She'll also open up the floor to all participants to share some nuggets of wisdom or moments of appreciation. It's important to rest and digest, so before everyone heads home, lets take a few moments to be in community and think about what kind of inspiration we want to bring home with us.
Hannah is a Certified Eastern Herbologist, gardener, and yoga instructor. She is a practitioner of several branches of Traditional Chinese Medicine, with a recent focus on Qi Gong. Hannah specializes in aerial and prenatal Yoga, and will be leading us through a morning movement meditation to energize our bodies and minds through intentional yoga.
Brian is an author/poet, diviner, and teacher of qigong in a Northern Wu Style Taijiquan lineage. As a part of their practice, they engage with the form (or other qigong sequences) to become aware of our constant connectedness to the world we are in: in other words, we are doing Tai Chi with trees. Brian is offering a morning movement class at the conference with offer a short sequence with that keeps that goal of interconnectedness in mind. It’s accommodating to all different types of bodies, and he’s happy to modify the activity to fit anyone's physical needs.
Thank you to our lovely sponsors for supporting the 2023 Plant Cunning Conference.
Gather in our big red barn with herbalists, farmers, astrologers, artists, musicians to learn about the magic of plants and to deepen our connection with nature and each other.
About the Land
Cohosh Creek Herb Farm and Sanctuary is nested in the beautiful rolling hills of Central New York, high on the Allegheny Plataea on the lands of the Oneida Peoples of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. We are honored and in awe of this place's magic and abundance and know that it has been and continues to be stewarded by both humans and the spirits of place with care and dedication.
There’s a large barn for us to have sessions in and an event tent for classes and dining outdoors overlooking a beautiful valley and the Tillette Creek (pronounced crick of course).There are fields and gardens to tour and some woodland trails to explore. Folks are welcome to come set up tents in the camps spots in the field with afternoon shade or forests.
Cohosh Creek Herb Farm
415 County Rd 41
South Edmeston, NY
Registration & Pricing
Registration is Closed. We have reached our maximum occupancy. No day of tickets will be sold.
This is the standalone ticket price of the conference which includes all sessions Saturday & Sunday, the live music show Saturday night, and access to the tea bar all weekend. You can bring your own snacks and meals and commute or find your own local lodging.
Nourishing mostly local and organic foods prepared for different dietary preferences (Vegan, GF, Nut Free with options for meat & wheat eaters too). Saturday Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Sunday Breakfast & Lunch Included. Tea bar will be open all weekend and accoutrements bar available for toppings to each delicious meal.
Access to grounds Friday night to set up camp and stay in your tent or vehicle for the weekend. Each adult camping should get a camping pass. Families camping with kids under 18 don’t have to get a pass for each kid, just the adults. We have water fill up, portapotties on site, and plenty of shady wooded spots or field spots with morning sun and afternoon shade in the garden.
Volunteer Spots are Full for this year.
Join the volunteer squad to help facilitate a kick-ass conference. You’ll be able to attend some sessions and the keynotes. You'll work alongside an amazing crew to help brew tea, prepare food, help with parking, set up and break down. Volunteering is a great way to offer your service to the community, get in to the conference at a discounted rate, and make some new friends.